Friday, 21 March 2014

Never go back

Never go back it will always disappoint. It is not always true but things never stay the same.
About 35 years ago, maybe more Alex and I stopped in a hotel overlooking Tower Bridge it was expensive but we got a good rate for the room (courteousy of Norma who knew the manager). Nevertheless we didn't have much money to spare for anything else. 

The views were great from our room and I did  a sketch of Tower Bridge. We spent the day going to the galleries and then dressed up for dinner as there was an expensive restaurant in the hotel with a view of the Thames. We were both a bit nervous as we weren't used to dining in a "posh" place. More importantly we weren't sure how much it was going to cost and we didn't have much to spare. 

We sat down for a pre-dinner drink and then the waiter came to show us to our table. There was a bit of confusion as I had to fight him to stop him taking my drink as I explained I had only had half of it. It transpired he was only going to carry them for us to our table!
We carefully ordered 2 courses of what we thought was the cheapest on the menu (although more than we would pay in a week for food normally). 

We had a great view, there was a pianist playing something quite pleasant and the dining room was full of well attired people. We relaxed and drank our drink waiting for our first, (main) course.
The waiter who I think was French brought us a starter of something. Again confusion.
"No we didn't order a starter, take it away please."
"But Sir..."
Finally the restaurant manager came over and explained it was a complimentary course. Which we obviously consumed.
Anyway we had a nice meal although with the underlying worry that we might not be able to afford it. We didn't have to do the washing up as it transpired as it was just within our budget.

We had a lovely time overall and many years later (although still years ago) we decided to go back there. 

Mistake, big time.
The hotel was now a cheap stopover. Nothing wrong with that but we were expecting the same swish 4 star hotel of our memories.  The dining room was now a cheap buffet split between smokers and non smokers with the smokers having the tables by the window. Our room had no view...etc..etc.  We had to eat out at night and worse Alex caught something from breakfast and was ill in the National Gallery.

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